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The Greatest of All Time – Part 1 of 5

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on July 28, 2008

LL Cool J is easily one of the most important rappers around because he’s been active since the early days of hip-hop’s commercial success. Read his thoughts on maturing in the game, what he says is his best work and the keys to his successful marriage.

THAT’S MY JAM: I actually had a chance to hear one of the songs that’s coming out, I think it’s called “Baby” with The-Dream?
LL COOL J: Yeah.

Cool. Who else do you have collaborating with you on the album this time around?
Well, I went from everybody, I went from The-Dream to — like, me and The-Dream made a real light-hearted, whimsical record that’s a story about this crazy night I had with this girl, all the way to really conscious records with Wyclef about the state of America and the elections, all the way back to another really light-hearted record I made with Ryan Leslie called “Radio,” you know what I’m saying? It’s a very fun record, you know, it also goes harder with records like “Rockin’ with the G.O.A.T.” that I did with DJ Scratch, I mean it’s just a very fun record, you know what I’m sayin’? I mean I didn’t take it too seriously, I didn’t, like, overthink it. I wanted to have a good time with it, you know what I’m sayin’?

OK. I was also doing some reading and found out that this was going to be your last album with Def Jam. I was wondering why you were parting ways with the label?
Well, it’s just my last album under the contract. Contractually it’s my last album. There’s no rule that says we can’t continue in the future working together, and we might, it’s possible, but it’s just the end of my contractual obligation, thus the Exit 13.

OK. Do you think that you would re-sign with them or are you looking elsewhere?
I think that it’s definitely possible for us to do business moving forward, it would just have to be, you know, a deal that reflects the digital age we’re in, you know what I’m sayin’?

On all levels, but at the same time still recognizes who I am as an artist. So, yeah, it’s definitely possible. I have a great relationship with them now and we’ve straightened out a lot of the things that went off here and there. So yeah, we can definitely do it, it’s possible.

OK. Kind of going along with what you said about being an artist and doing a lot of different kinds of stuff with this album, and even flashing back to your older albums, you’ve given us some very different stuff. We’ve got some love songs from you, we’ve also got some really freaky songs from you, like “Doin’ It” ― which rocked my world in high school, I’ll let you know that now, that was my song ― but, what kind of material do you like to do? Do you like to diversify or do you have anything specific that you really enjoy doing on each album?
I like having a lot of fun. I think the last couple of albums I wasn’t ― I didn’t focus as much because I was doing so many different things. But, like with this new record that I’m working on, I really like doing all kinds of music and just going in all different directions emotionally and showing all different sides. I definitely was showing people the full range of what I feel, you know what I’m saying? And the record “Radio” is definitely a freaky song, you know what I’m saying? There are some crazy songs on this album. It’s definitely diverse in terms of subject matter and topically, and even if I do approach a subject matter, like me and a young lady, it’ll be a different type of approach all the time. I always like to do things differently. So, it’s hot, it’s definitely hot, you know, I feel good about this one. But I also like to, you know, express where I’m at, address the mind state that I’m in at that time and if hip-hop says something about me or if the hip-hop community feels something about me, I like to address that as well. So, I’m addressing a lot of those things on the album as well.

Come back tomorrow for part two of “The Greatest of All Time.”

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